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Our Story

Hilo's premiere Jazz & Blues Festival since 2012

The East Hawaii Jazz & Blues Festival is one of the most popular music events on the Big Island of Hawaii, drawing sell-out crowds of local and out-of-state guests. What started out 12 years ago as an intimate Sunday afternoon wine & pupu fundraiser at the former Nihon Restaurant in Hilo, has evolved into the largest Jazz Festival in Hawaii, spanning seven days highlighted by more than 30+ performances, workshops, and school visits.

The East Hawaii Jazz & Blues Festival is held annually on the last Sunday of October through the first Friday in November. Due to the COVID Pandemic, the festival was suspended for two  years and made a triumphant return last year. The 2023 festival kicks off on October 29, at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel with 10 performances on three stages. The festival is the signature fundraising event for Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial Inc. (HIVM) and features a "Heavy" Pupu buffet, wine tasting, no-host bar and non-stop music performed by some of Hawaii’s finest jazz and blues musicians along with highly acclaimed artists from the mainland.



The East Hawaii Jazz & Blues Festival has helped raise awareness and resources necessary for HIVM to meet its mission of providing affordable housing and health facilities to our Hawaii Island veterans. We are actively pursuing that mission through the development of Hale Na Koa ‘O Hanakahi, a 92 unit affordable senior independent living community.  This development is currently being built in partnership with EAH Housing at an estimated cost of $58 million. Ground Breaking for this project was held this past February with completion slated for late 2024. Preference will be given to our island's senior veterans and their spouses although other income eligible seniors are welcome. 

The other initiative is the development of a full-service medical facility in partnership with an established Hawaii-Island-based medical services provider. This facility will be located on our property just below the senior living community, and would provide work and office space for island and off-island doctors/specialists to serve both military veterans and the island community. 



Mahalo to all of our past sponsors

US Renal Care
Big Island Docs
Hilo Hawaiian
Castle Resorts and Hotels
Panda Express
Team Nakanishi
Tribune Herald
Akamai Events
Big Island Toyota
Ke Ola Magazine
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